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A Century-Old Kitchen Comes to Life
Jun 23, 2017

A Century-Old Kitchen Comes to Life

Restaurant owners Bryan Steelman and Claire Olberding turn three inefficient, 100-year-old rooms into an eclectic kitchen with high-end appliances.

Bryan Steelman and Claire Olberding moved into a 100-year-old Portland house when their daughter, Rona Lowe, was just four days old. The home hadn't been significantly changed since it was built in 1908, so they anticipated a lot of updates.


Their old kitchen felt dark and cave-like, and it was inefficiently broken up into tiny rooms. "You had to walk through two doors just to enter the kitchen," says Bryan. Their goal for the remodel was to make the kitchen the main hub of the house, because cooking and eating together with family and friends is a regular part of their lives.

The Scope of the Kitchen Remodel

-Added French doors and windows

-Opened the wall between kitchen and dining room

-Removed the center chimney

-Added new heater and air conditioning equipment

-Got rid of the mudroom to create more space

-Added new appliances, cabinetry, salvaged hardwood floors, vintage shelving and a sink

-Removed linoleum floors

-Painted walls sage green

-Tiled the backsplash

-Installed recessed lighting and pendant lights, and put them on dimmers

The entire configuration of the kitchen changed with the remodel. A center chimney in the old kitchen took up valuable space and had to go. New high-efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment was added so that the chimney could be removed, thus opening space for a refrigerator and cabinets. An additional 64 square feet of kitchen space was gained by eliminating the mudroom.

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